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Por que ser cientista?

“Conforme vejo as coisas, a ciência hoje, apesar de todos os seus avanços frontais, carece dum senso íntimo de direcção. (.../...) Os cientistas não mais podem continuar a trilhar o caminho do ‘progresso científico’ sem relacioná-lo — de forma imaginativa e vívida — aos efeitos que os aspectos negativos de seu trabalho exercem sobre o nosso planeta. Precisamos de nova variedade de cientista/filósofo. (.../...) O homem, embriagado de ciência, tornou-se o touro na loja de porcelana da natureza.”

Gabrielle Horne, New Scientist, 8/9 1979

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The best computer programs

"... The best computer programs are the ones in which the computer itself "disappears," in which you work directly on the problem without having to be aware of the computer." Donald Norman. in The Psychology of Everyday Things. -Basic Books, 1988, p. 180.

The "two cultures" of modern society — the sciences and the humanities

“A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of: 'Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?' I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question — such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, 'Can you read?' — not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their Neolithi